U.S. District Court Judge Jon Tigar, a Barack Obama appointee, ruled Monday that President Trump did not have the authority to block asylum-seekers from illegally crossing into the United States.
In the latest in a series of misguided and soon-to-be-overturned court rulings against the administration on the subject of illegal immigration and travel to the United States, Tigar temporarily blocked the Trump administration from implementing the November 9th executive order.
The order was intended to give Border Patrol officials a measure of control over the spiraling caravan situation by declaring that no immigrant who crossed into the country illegally would be considered for asylum.
In his ruling, Tigar said that President Trump was attempting to rewrite immigration law from the Oval Office.
“Whatever the scope of the President’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden,” wrote the judge. “Failure to comply with entry requirements such as arriving at a designated port of entry should bear little, if any, weight in the asylum process.”
The ACLU, which brought the case against the administration, issued a victorious statement.
“This ban is illegal, will put people’s lives in danger, and raises the alarm about President Trump’s disregard for separation of power,” said ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt. “There is no justifiable reason to flatly deny people the right to apply for asylum, and we cannot send them back to danger based on the manner of their entry. Congress has been clear on this point for decades.”
Given what we’ve seen out of ultra-liberal West Coast courts for the last two years, this ruling is hardly a surprise. Unfortunately, it’s just as misguided and unconstitutional as the rulings that blocked Trump from implementing his so-called “Muslim ban.” The ACLU wants to talk about what Congress “has been clear” about? Well, for one thing, the Legislative Branch has been very clear about giving the President of the United States wide latitude when it comes to governing our ports of entry, especially when there is a national security concern at hand. That was true in the case of the Middle East travel ban, and it’s certainly true at the Mexican border today, where we have 10,000+ migrants of unclear origin trying to get into the United States.
Trump was not trying to rewrite the laws on immigration. His was a short (90-day), temporary modification of our asylum laws, only to last until the caravan crisis has passed. It was wholly within his authority to make this change, and we can’t wait until the Supreme Court affirms it to be so.